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|Almost everyone, at one time or another, likes to leaf
through an atlas and dream of far off lands. This fantastically well
presented online atlas will let you do just that whether for pleasure
or study. Offering colourful political and physical maps of just about
every country in the world, the real value is in the extra information
that accompanies them. Aside from details on the
geography and culture of each country, you'll also find statistics on
from rainfall to GNP.
|After overcoming early teething problems, Expedia has grown
into the best travel portal on the web. Using it is simply a matter of
entering the name of a
city or area anywhere in the world into the search engine and up pops a
They're not the most detailed you'll find but the fact that the whole
is covered is a bonus. The really handy aspect of the facility is the
of local links that appears alongside the map, giving you a real
into the area.
|One of the first sites to map the entire world online, the
scope of Mapquest is
truly stunning. Simply enter any location worldwide, from the village
you live to Mexico City, and within seconds you'll be presented with a
map of the area. You'd be hard pressed to use the maps as your only
of navigation but to get a rough idea of your location, they're ideal
even go down to street level. There's also an easy-to-use route planner
a well-stocked shop if you require a more detailed map.
|This site doesn't provide online maps as such but is so
beautifully designed and
contains so much other information it's well worth a look for
geographers and intrepid travellers alike. You can purchase a map of
any area you can think of, either in a digital downloadable format or
the more traditional paper variety. You can also access travel guides
and an excellent educational section, which contains trivia, links,
quizzes and more.
|Now, this is impressive. Again, it's confined to
Great Britain but the level of
detail is absolutely incredible. Simply enter any postcode in the
country and the site will pinpoint it almost exactly. The street maps
are also surprisingly
accurate. If you're on holiday in another part of the country or on a
trip this invaluable site could save countless wrong turnings and cross
If you don't know the relevant postcode you can also search by place or
and Tram Maps
anyone who has ever attempted to negotiate the tube will realise,
your way around an alien transport system can be very confusing at the
best of times. Imagine being stuck in a foreign country and not being
able to understand
the signs or ask for help. That's where this useful site comes in. It
maps of over 300 underground and train systems around the world, all of
in colour and all of them detailed enough to be printed out and taken
you live in the capital, you'll be well aware that London's maze of
streets can prove to be a minefield even for the most streetwise
Cockney. So if you're
visiting the capital you'd be well advised to take a look at this
detailed site. The street maps of the capital are the equal of anything
find in an A-Z while the road atlases of the rest of UK are also
familiar and easy to follow.
|This site may not help you find your way home but it will
certainly give a new perspective on the world. It's a huge library of
amazingly detailed aerial shots taken from satellites orbiting the
Earth. Even more impressive, you can search the site for a specific
area and even look for an image of the place where you live, which you
have the opportunity to purchase if you wish.
Each entry is also accompanied by links to Encarta so you can find out
each place in more detail.
The On-line Medical Dictionary
|The On-line Medical dictionary from Cancer Web is a huge
searchable database of
terms and expressions used in the medical profession. The quantity of
and terms, taken direct from Webster's Dictionary, is comprehensive but
also includes a fair amount of non-medical words. The accidental
of unrelated words, such as 'dog', doesn't inspire confidence and so
down an otherwise excellent resource. Finding medical words without
the search facility can be difficult, due to the sheer quantity of
which isn't presented in the most user friendly format.
|Kadow's Internet and Unix dictionary is not the most
exciting of websites, but then
again it's a technical reference and you can't please all of the people
of the time. Categorised alphabetically by initial, the quantity of
is large but the descriptions themselves are somewhat brief. If you are
new to the Internet this isn't an ideal place to start learning.
if you already have a basic understanding then Kadow's is definitely
a look when you pick up a new geek word in conversation.
|Dictionary.com is not just an online dictionary, it has a
hyperlink to Thesuarus.com which makes it a useful resource for anyone
who has something to write. Other features
include an online translator which works in a number of different
languages and word of the day email facility, allowing you to have a
word automatically emailed to you each day, a sure-fire way to help
|With the Internet now firmly established as a basic business
tool and e-commerce becoming an increasingly important way of selling,
companies are no longer limited to selling to local customers. Although
doing business overseas has
been made easier, it means learning a whole new legal and trading
system. That's where Duhaime's Law Dictionary comes in. Lloyd Duhaime
has researched, written and published this free online legal
dictionary, covering all the basics of World and American law.
|Investorwords claims to be the most comprehensive financial
glossary available both on and
offline. Over 5,000 words and terms are arranged alphabetically into
of links that take you direct to a concise definition, in plain
Each of these descriptions contain further links to other related
where appropriate, making it easy to work your way around the site. As
would expect, this website doesn't exactly attract your admiration with
design, but then contemporary design and flashy graphics would be out
|Although Merriam-Webster Online is published in the US it is
still a very useful resource.
The home page presents you with the option to search either the
Dictionary or Thesaurus and although the tacky play on words may put
off the search is conducted quickly and the results are remarkably
Some English variations in spelling, such as colour, are also
attractions in the form of Word of the day, Word for the Wise and word
Again, the only down side is the design - this website looks more than
|Thesaurus.com is the sister site to Dictionary.com, with
exactly the same look, logo and
layout, but in yellow instead of blue. The data for Thesaurus.com comes
from the renowned Roget's Thesaurus and is published online by Lexico.
add extra functionality the entire English language has been divided
six broad categories by the nature and meaning of the words within.
additional features are a word of the day and a selection of online
games, good for passing time at work or running up a huge phone bill at
would be ridiculous to expect a free translating dictionary to cover
language currently spoken by man, but Travlang's is having a pretty
go at it. Translation between practically every European language is
as well as Latin, Africaans and Esperanto. The only down side to
Travlang's is the design - the plain HTML text and logo on a
watermarked page doesn't do credit to the content.
|Rather more than Hobson's Choice, in fact, with information
not just on the more than 180 UK universities and colleges, but on
establishments of education worldwide - be it at school or college
level, first degree, or post-grad and
professional qualifications. Information on global careers means you
ensure that you are obtaining the correct qualifications for working as
lawyer in New York or New Guinea say, as well as getting an idea of the
awaiting you there, with local club, pub and gig guides.
|There's a host of sites telling you how to have weeks of
riotous fun as a student. The National Union of Students site is a
little worthier than that. Essential stuff all the same. Find out what
your grant entitlements are. Find out what
to do if your grant, horror of horrors, doesn't arrive. And for a wider
get the NUS's take and action on Government moves affecting you the
|Very useful - in fact, indispensable - for students coming
from abroad to study in the UK. Find out about UK universities,
colleges and short courses. Discover
about the cost of living, the vagaries of the UK's travel network and
idiosyncrasies of the lifestyle. Good news pages to discover the latest
and legislation in UK education and a friendly chatroom so you won't
so far away from home.
|Search engine Yahoo has saved you a lot of time and trouble
(though be careful how
you type in that Web address) by compiling the definitive listing of
and colleges in the United Kingdom. So if you've decided on the seat of
you want, or you're still weighing up four or five, why not click onto
link that will take you straight to the college's website and see what
has to offer.
|With 30 years of encouraging us into distance learning
courses, the Open University should know how to put together resources
such as this, and it doesn't disappoint.
The site roughly divides into pages on the infrastructure of the
itself - courses, fees, maps to the various study centres, access
for disabled people and so on; and the pages about specific faculties
|Gone are the days when you had to choose between Reading,
Salford and Aston. There's
nothing (finances and fear of flying permitting) stopping you studying
Arizona or Alaska should you wish. US Education Journal offers a chance
potential students to get direct information on courses and admissions
specific American universities. Click on the map of the US to find
in your chosen region and subject area.
site in which the students themselves have their say. Of course
university websites aren't always going to paint the whole picture, and
certainly won't tell you if their halls of residence come a poor second
to the Black Hole of Calcutta. This resource, with links to unofficial
home pages posted by existing students, started by asking first years
whether their college matched up to expectations, and went on to ask
school leavers what information they would like to get before they went
up to university.
Schools & Colleges
|Student UK is a sprawling, well-designed site that mixes
entertainment and information to good effect. The music and film
reviews are as good as you'll find anywhere on the net, while issues
such as money, travel, health and careers are all
dealt with in lively, unpatronising fashion. You can also join in the
on the busy message boards and win attractive prizes in the regular
|Noel Coward's advice would be not to put your daughter on
the stage at all, of
course. But if you must, ensure that you check the CDS website first.
Conference was formed to encourage the highest standards in training
actors and stage managers, as well as hosting its own training. A look
the members' roster - RADA, the Central School of Speech and Drama, the
School of Acting - confirms that quality.
|Not one for the Victorian parents among us, the Montessori
system has the aim of allowing young children "to grow naturally, to
retain their individuality and develop their own unique personality".
And the network of nursery schools has spread over the last few
decades, from the original organisation in Italy
to reach, it seems, almost every country in the world. Wherever you
there's a Montessori school near you, and this site will tell you how
|Very handy resource for parents wanting to check on the
relative performances of
the schools on their list. Simply type in the name of the school plus
postcode, and up pops its latest league table performance plus a copy
the last Ofsted report. It's a useful alternative to hiking through
of schools and reams of figures, and best of all it's very quick and
simple to get to what you want.
|You can tell a lot about a school by looking at its website.
So click onto this
useful listing of UK school sites by search engine Excite. There are
of schools from John O' Groats to Lands End, providing useful details
curricular and extra-curricular activities, sports and drama as well as
work. It is often handy for getting the pupils' views rather than just
of the head teacher and governors.
|The stated aim of the Education Exchange, producers of
Schoolsite, is to "help every school in the UK realise and contribute
to the educational value of
the internet." Simply register for free web space, tell Schoolsite when
site goes live, referring to EDEX's frequently asked questions section
you have any problem, and they will hook you up. The impressive listing
schools already linked shows it's an offer many have taken up.
|The starting point for parents checking out independent
schools in the UK. Complete
and regularly updated details of 1300 accredited independent schools
listed, and search facilities are built into the site to let you search
schools that meet your criteria. There is also lots of more general
about the independent sector and how to go about choosing the right
for your child.
it's tough for the tots taking their school reading work home, spare a
thought for the parents. This site, though, is an excellent support. It
gives parents hints on how to approach the 'literacy hour' -
introducing the kids to the
book, talking about the cover, making the whole thing friendlier by
about the author and discussing whether the book is happy or sad.
|Comprehensive listing of UK boarding schools, both primary
and secondary. There's a full index of schools and useful contacts of
course, plus details on the arrangements for visiting and assessing
each school, and advice on whether boarding will
suit your child. You'll find full curricular details and information
the league table performance of each school and - swallow hard -
of fees. There's also a useful section on financial assistance and
|Proving that Dixons' Internet service provider has a few
more tricks up its sleeve apart from single-handedly revolutionising
the ISP market in Britain and selling
bucketloads of shares - the company has some A1 content too. There are
for each age band of the national curriculum and for the core subjects
English, Maths and Science. Key subject areas are highlighted and you
click for revision tasks or tests.
|What the BBC claims to be the "first ever revision guide via
TV, books and the internet". Bitesize is a nicely produced site, with
slick graphics of a smiling
shark (bitesize, geddit?) to guide you around. As the name suggests,
site doesn't attempt to talk you through endless reams of text -
little point in that approach online anyway - but instead provides
bite-size gobbets of information to assist your GCSE revision, and if
get stuck you can email a teacher with a question.
the face of it this site is a guide to the school's library - which
sure is very good. But more useful to the rest of us is a list of links
other revision and exam preparation sites, targeted specifically at
pupils. Here you will find a load of sites dealing with Maths, Science,
History, Geography, Art, Music, Drama and general revision practices.
It is also interesting
to get an insight into examiners' marking schemes on the NEAB site.
|Assistance for those worried their A-level grades may be
insufficient to secure a place
at the university of their choice. This site is a comprehensive
collection of links to pages covering all the main A-level subjects.
Nominated for a
Yell! 99 Award (Yell being the online version of Yellow Pages) this
certainly as thorough as you could wish. Psychology has recently been
to an impressive list of subjects that already includesBiology,
Chemisty, Geography, Physics... well take a look for yourself.
winced a little when we read 'the only cool revision site on the Net'.
apart from trying a little too hard to make doing your homework sound
this site has lots to recommend it. All the core GCSE subjects are
covered. Click within history, say, and you raise a list of key
revision topics. Click
on each of those and you get a series of brief revision notes covering
the key factors to be swotted up.
|Another example of schools and colleges using the
to share, for free, some of their accumulated wisdom with other
students. There is nothing very flashy on this site posted by Longhill
School in Rottingdean, Brighton. Instead, there is a section of good,
easy-to-follow tips on structuring your revision to be as effective as
asking for help from the right places and not panicking when things go
|Hands up anyone who can work out what this site does. Well
okay, the name's a bit
of a giveaway. It is of course an excellent resource offering free help
advice with problems in Mathematics and Statistics at GCSE, A-level,
GNVQ and Foundation year degree level. The deal is this. You email them
question. They email back with hints and general advice. What could be
or more vital than that?
"education for the 21st Century" as the DEN bills itself, so it's
planning on being around for some time to come. Whether you're a
an education professional or just browsing, this is the place to come
an exhaustive database of courses the world over. Click on Thailand,
on media studies and the site will find a course for you to pursue.
|Education World is "where the educators go to learn"
according to the puff. More to
the point, it is where adults can go to find literally thousands of
on every conceivable subject the world over. We can't state this
enough - you don't have to study at your local college anymore; if the
you want is at the University of Missouri, then sign up for a distance
|Boldly billing itself as the UK's "number one course
website," On Course has a bold
tilt at Floodlight's domination of the London course listing market.
actually a very simple site but incredibly comprehensive and easy to
Your first port of call is by broad subject area - Art, Craft and
Computer and Office, Fashion and Beauty and so on. These links then
you to the individual colleges and you simply click on their logos to
details of courses and whom you need to contact.
|Too much online learning is a pale imitation of the 'real'
face-to-face, learning environment, so it's a delight to discover a
site that addresses the demands and difficulties of distance learning
and tailors a site to suit. The Learning Network is the online arm of
the Open College, itself a sister organisation to the Open University.
The site is devoted to promoting access to tertiary education for as
many of us as possible. Browse and order materials, register for
courses, tutor support, the lot.
|The National Open College Network is one of the largest
awarding bodies in the
UK and accessibility to education is what it's all about. It offers
to adult learners, and in particular to those for whom more traditional
are not available or inappropriate. The NOCN operates a national credit
through 31 local Open College Networks based across the UK. And it
just about every course you could dream of.
|The National Organisation for Adult Learning is the
non-governmental organisation for adult learning in England and Wales.
aim? To give as many adults as possible the opportunity to return to
A large part of its work is campaigning, undertaking research, hassling
government and generally raising the profile of adult education.
|There's no getting round this. If you want to study at
higher or further education level in the Big Smoke then you need
Floodlight as your guide. The paper version
of this crucial resource has been writing the book on studying in
for years now, and the online version is even better. Why? Well it
be a pretty comprehensive local newsagent in Perth or Penzance if it
a London listing magazine, whereas the website is open to us all.
|Another offshoot of the marvellous Open University, and one
equally good at encouraging adult education via the Web. Covering
management education in this case, OUBS
pulls on the more than 30 years' experience of the Open University and
one of the world's largest business schools, with more than 25,000
a year studying. Click on to the Experience page to get a flavour of
and learning with the OUBS.
A few years ago the encyclopaedia became available on CD for
with a couple of hundred pounds to spare. Now, thankfully, the
have seen fit to publish it free online, so everyone can delve in and
for the information they need.
The opening page changes daily, including today's news,
and business. As the news is supplied by the Washington Post it has a
US slant, but UK specific content is promised soon. You can also choose
search a wide range of topic headings, including arts, books,
politics, philosophy and religion.
However if you keyed in the URL you will doubtless be
for the actual Britannica Encyclopaedia entries themselves. The search
quick and painless and comes up with a number of resources. There will
be the main encyclopaedia entry, but you might also get a few
entries suggested as well on related topics. You will also be presented
links to a number of other resources, including Merriam-Webster's
Dictionary and a wide range of magazines. Again the US slant comes out,
UK material is also suggested occasionally.
|Despite being the first people to use a pun that was all but
inevitable, Encyberpedia is a very rewarding stopping shop for those
after an intensive source of material.
Not exactly an encyclopaedia, it provides a list of links to the people
the know on a colossal range of subjects. It's a rather scattershot
and finding the exact information you require is a trial-and-error
but the site is connected to a dazzling array of expert knowledge,
of an academic pedigree.
you're after information or facts and figures on nearly every country
the world, then look no further than the Atlapedia online. The
is almost overly comprehensive, including details of main exports,
products, the military, communication, economy and other areas to
to mention. There's even a brief account of each country's history from
to 1990. Two world maps are available, geographical and political,
can be viewed by selecting the required country from a drop-down list
hitting a link button.
|Typical Microsoft: copious content and a slick, smooth
lay-out lure you into the online
version of their popular CD-Rom encyclopaedia, and almost before you
you're paying the subscription fee. It costs $6.95 a month or $49.95
but the product looks so nice and the usability is so wonderfully
it's almost worth it. The articles aren't as studious as the
Britannica, but they're well-structured and the internal links whisk
to every conceivable related angle on the subject.
of the Orient
|The Encyclopaedia of the Orient is a very individual online
reference guide, containing
facts specific to North Africa and the Middle East. Information ranges
historical accounts to passages on people, towns and terminology. The
can be used by conducting a keyword search or by browsing the A-Z of
Navigation between search results and the many areas of the site is
and easy, by using the A-Z of entries down the left-hand side of the
|There are over 14,000 articles in Encyclopaedia.com, all
taken from The Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopaedia, shortened and
published here online for
free. The scope of the topics covered is wide, but the shortened
a little too brief to offer the depth you would expect. However,
Encyclopedia.com is an excellent starting point to help you conduct a
larger search, or a
great one-stop for those looking for a few tit-bits of information.
|Children's online encyclopaedias are few and far between,
despite a fairly obvious need
for them with so many children having Internet access at school or at
Over the last few months Letsfindout.com has grown both in the number
entries and in the depth of information offered. It now contains
articles on a very wide range of subjects, perfect for supplementing
late night homework essay.
|The Tech Encyclopaedia, a sub-section of CMP's Tech Web,
provides highly informative and easy to understand descriptions of
practically every computer related term around. All those apparently
meaningless acronyms, such http, as are also included with a accurate
description and often a brief insight into the
possible future of the technology in question. This is a browser
bookmark must for anyone in regular communications with their companies
IT department. It doesn't look half-bad either, the layout is fairly
standard but proves easy and quick to use.
|Treading the fine line between the intellectual
of History Today and the plain wackiness of the likes of Fortean Times,
House takes a wry look at the lesser known stories and figures in
Whether it is the tale of Kamal Ataturk banning the fez from daily wear
Turkey, or the curious sexual foibles of Hitler's high command, history
never be a series of dry dates again if you look at this site.
all know what happened at certain points in history - it's all there in
the text books after all. But what if? Uchronia is concerned with the
million what if's of the past - What if the moon didn't exist? What if
the Second World War had never happened or if Germany had won? There's
an enormous canon
of works here. The amount written on the subject shows our fascination
what might have been, and can give us a different take on what is.
|Now history has to be one of the most commonly occurring
words on the World Wide
Web, and there's not much point in your trawling through the history of
music when you're after web pages dealing with medieval living. Your
stop should be an excellent resource such as the one provided by search
Yahoo. They've done the legwork for you, and you'll find section
from Alternative History right through to Web Directories.
|The UK's most-respected history magazine has
of an intellectually fearsome reputation. But if you're expecting a
website, fear not. Excellently organised into Ancient, Medieval, Early
and so forth, you can also search by subject - politics, military and
on. Packed with book reviews, competitions and resources for students
at school or research level, this site elegantly covers the popular and
ends of the subject without falling down on either.
|Really enjoyable site for anyone who yearns to know more
about ancient Egypt. Manages
to be a weighty historical resource and very good fun at the same time
take a trip to the Clickable Mummy to give you a whole new take on the
process). There's a dynasty by dynasty list of the pharaohs, a
guide to the gods and beliefs of ancient Egypt, and an overview on the
architecture, tombs and temples of the past.
|Psychistory is the science of historical motivation;
'putting the world on the couch' as this fascinating history of the
American Institute for Psychohistory would
have it. It aims to combine the insights of modern psychotherapy with
research methodology of history. So we know there was a Gulf War, but
complex of thoughts created it? What events in our childhood lead to
and social violence? Sometimes more questions than answers.
|This site is put together by secondary school teachers, so
you can be sure that not only is the content hugely engrossing,
reliable and neatly marshalled into date and subject periods, it's also
tailored towards the needs of the
History National Curriculum. It majors on modern history, and themed
include Religion and Society, the trade union movement, the textile
encyclopaedia of the First World War and emancipation of women.